Crookston cops call hanging statue a colorblind prank

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A University of Minnesota-Crookston student really missed the mark on the whole college prank thing this weekend.

The student decided to steal a statue from a classmate that is "carved and painted in the likeness of a person of color" and hang it from the student center by its torso.

When caught, the student told campus police that it was just meant as a harmless joke on the statue's owner, and that he didn't even consider the racial implications. That excuse again: It did not cross his mind that publicly hanging the statue would be perceived as racist.

University officials went along for the ride. Dumb, they said. But not racist. which in the very least raises questions about Crookston's admission standards. Who are they letting in there?

Here's what Peter Phaiah, the vice chancellor of student affairs, told the Forum:

"The student did not take into consideration the implications of what he believed was a harmless prank," Phaiah said. "On the contrary, the students, faculty and staff on campus see this as anything but funny."

But it's just a teachable moment, the chancellor says.

The student will not face criminal charges, but will have to face a committee of Crookston administrators and fellow students.

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